Pie crust is the first thing my mom ever taught me to bake. Pies are her speciality, and after years of watching her make delicious pie after delicious pie, I wanted to make my own. One of the most fun parts for me was mixing in the butter with the flour. Something about it is so satisfying, as the pieces blend together bit by bit until the texture is light and fluffy. Here's how to use a pastry blender to make pie crust just like my mother's!
The Purpose of a Pastry Blender
A pastry blender, also called a pastry cutter or dough blender, isn't used just for pie crust, it's used in any recipe that involves mixing butter in with flour. This kitchen tool has metal tines that help you to cut butter or other fats into the flour. The tines are attached to a handle that you hold, making them easy to use.
This essential pastry tool is used when making scones, pie, or other pastries that have a flaky texture. You can use a Cuisinart food processor or your hands if you don't have a pastry blender, but this is the easiest way to mix in flour and sugar.
How to Use a Pastry Blender
To use this kitchen gadget, combine the dry ingredients necessary in a mixing bowl. Then, put in pieces of cold butter, lard, or whatever fat your'e using in your pastry. Grip the handle and press the pastry blender into the fat, cutting it and combining it with the other ingredients.
The fat will stick to the blender, but just keep going, cutting the fat into smaller and smaller pieces. If necessary, stop and use a knife or scraper to scrape the fat off the pastry blender, to make sure all of it blends in with the flour mixture. Continue pressing the baking tool into the fat in quick motions, aiming to cut all of it into smaller pieces to get closer to the pastry dough texture you're looking for.
Your recipe will tell you how big to cut your butter or fat. If it says to have "pea-sized" chunks, then you'll use the pastry blender until there are pieces of butter the size of peas. For some recipes, you'll need to make the texture "crumb-like." In this case, you'll just continue using the pastry blender until the butter is fully mixed in with the flour and the texture is consistent.
This stainless steel pastry cutter is a great choice when deciding between bakeware. Its soft grip rubber handle allows you to use it without hurting your hands, and its heavy duty blades ensure that your pastry dough will be blended in no time. Plus, you can use this Amazon bestseller for more than just pastries- blend avocado for guacamole, eggs for egg salad, or anything you can think of.